The Toronto Free Hospital for the Consumptive Poor

Wychwood Park didn’t want a TB hospital,

so Sir William James Gage purchased a farm in Mount Dennis!

Click for a fairly complete history of West Park hosted by a Wychwood community group

On our 2013 trail walk, we visited the Piggery ruins.

From ” The Changing Years” by Godfrey L Gale, who was both a former patient and a staff doctor at the hospital

…….there were quite extensive vegetable gardens before the war, and by 1915 these had expanded to 12 acres in the field which lies to the north of the Nurses’ Residence. The patients were mainly responsible for their cultivation, and in season they provided all the fresh vegetables required by the hospital.  In 1912, a hennery and a piggery had been built down the escarpment close to the Humber River. The reason they had been built was partly to provide food for the patients, but mainly to solve the problem of disposal of the garbage from the kitchen and the dining rooms. No one would remove it because it came from a tuberculosis hospital! The hospital tried to dispose of this garbage by burning it wet, burning it dry, and burying it, but these were time consuming and costly.

The hennery and piggery provided a much better solution. The hennery had space for 1,000 hens, though there were seldom more than 500 there at anyone time. They were fed on bread, biscuits,porridge, and other cereal refuse, and produced as many as 86,000 eggs a year in addition to fresh chicken for the table. Up to 50 pigs were kept in the piggery. They were purchased at the age of two months and fattened on the garbage ‐ all of which was sterilized before being fed to them ‐ and they provided fresh meat, and through the help of the Toronto abattoir, bacon and ham. The net saving to the hospital from the hennery and piggery was reported to be as much as $3 ,000 a year.The farm continued to provide for the hospital ‐ even after the municipality agreed to remove the garbage ‐ until it was finally demolished in 1953.The following fall, Hurricane Hazel swept away anything that was left